How to Remove Paint from Concrete
LESLIE: Alright, David in Maryland is looking to fix up a concrete porch.
What’s going on there, David?
DAVID: Well, our home is from like 1942. Somebody had painted the front stoop. It’s not very large; it’s about 4 foot by 4 foot with a – you know, it’s an awning; you know, a little roof over it.
DAVID: And my wife and I were just wondering what would be the best way to get the rest of the paint off and should we bother to try to repaint it; is it worthwhile.
TOM: Well, you don’t have to have the concrete painted. I mean certainly it’s only there for aesthetics. If you want to remove the paint, you’re probably best – especially since it’s outside – to use a really good-quality paint stripper; like a Zip-Strip or something like that. And you’re going to have to use safety glasses and gloves and you’re going to have to really coat it on. It’s really thick, smelly stuff. But coat it on there. You let it sit and then you can scrape it off or wire-brush it off.
And then once you’re done, you’re going to have to evaluate what it looks like. Now if you got enough off and it looks halfway decent, then you’re OK. But if it looks bad, which it might, then you’re going to have to repaint it or recoat it. And if that’s the case, you might want to use an epoxy paint because that’s probably going to be the most …
DAVID: An epoxy paint.
TOM: Yeah, an epoxy paint because that’s going to be the most durable for a concrete surface.
DAVID: OK. Let me complicate this one step further.
TOM: Oh, please do because it was getting so easy. (chuckles)
DAVID: (chuckles) Yeah. We’re going to be enclosing this porch soon, so by the time we get around – I don’t know – what temperature can I do this in?
TOM: Well, you can’t do it in freezing weather but you certainly can do it in anything that’s not freezing. And you probably don’t want to do it on a super-hot day either, in the middle of the summer, because it will just take – you know, it would take longer to do it because the material will evaporate faster.
DAVID: Well, frankly, somebody’s going to come in and help close it in with two window walls and a glass storm door, so we have like an extra step out of the weather in the house.
DAVID: Does that complicate anything with the Zip-Strip or the epoxy?
LESLIE: Well, I would say strip it before you enclose it because it’s going to be really stinky, so you just want to make sure you have enough ventilation while you’re doing this work. So I would say do that first.
TOM: Yeah, I would do the whole floor first and then enclose it and this way, if the floor gets damaged in the work, then you can just touch it up.
DAVID: OK. Well, you’re going to make me a hero with my wife.
TOM: Alright. That’s why we’re here. (Tom and David chuckle) David, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.